The Big Bang Theory Recap: Hello, Darlin’

Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Johnny Galecki as Leonard. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS
The Big Bang Theory
Episode Title
The Earworm Reverberation
Editor’s Rating

Hold on, there's something in my eye. What? No, I'm most certainly not teary about tonight's episode of The Big Bang Theory, which, even though it had been flat-out spoiled by various factions on the interwebs, not to mention CBS's very detailed and frequently aired promos, which featured Sheldon's most romantic and touching display of love for the long-suffering Amy.

Yes, as those oft-repeated promos had spoiled ahead of time, Shamy is back together, y'all. With a knock on her door — rather, a "Knock, knock, knock, Amy" — and a gigantic kiss as he sweeps her up into his arms, Sheldon ends the breakup that began in last season's finale and has taken up quite a bit of storytelling this season.

All's well that ends well, and thanks to more curiously spoileriffic promos for next week's episode, we know this reunion will end in more than that lingering clutch that saw Shamy kissing "like mommies and daddies do," as Sheldon described mouth-to-mouth kissing in "The Romance Resonance." Shamy's gonna do it, y'all. Their path to coitus will be paved by the lightsaber-bearing ghost of Sheldon's childhood hero, Professor Proton (returning guest-star Bob Newhart), and I'm just guessing it will lead to Sheldon busting out Meemaw's ring again in the not-too-distant future.

While Shamy fans have much to look forward to, let's take a brief look at how Mr. Cooper found his way to Amy's front door — at least those promos didn't spoil everything.

After Sheldon turns down Amy's offer to reunite — and, yes, we know he never got over her in the first place, but it's going to take the runtime of this episode for him to figure that out — he thinks he's losing his mind. The source of his "descent into madness" is an earworm: He hums it, he plays it on an organ, and he even blows on his newly acquired tuba. But he cannot identify it.

It's not only incessantly irritating to him, but to Penny and Leonard, too, who unsuccessfully try to distract him from his earworm worries. Sheldon even calls the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to ask for help, but deems them useless when they can't provide a song title. "Which is crazy, since rock and roll is all about good customer service," Leonard snarks.

Sheldon persists, and after listening to the earworm again and again, a mention of the Beach Boys finally helps him recognize that his tune is "Darlin'," and the reason it's stuck in his head is because the lyrics remind him of Amy — and how she changed his life for the better.

The specific lyrics that resonate with him: "I was living like half a man / Then I couldn't love, but now I can … More soul than I ever had … I love the way you soften my life." He takes the "soften" line quite literally, declaring Amy to be the "dryer sheet of his heart."

Meanwhile, Amy, doing her spunky best to move forward after yet another heartbreak by Sheldon, decides to try a second date with tall British scientist Dave (guest star Stephen Merchant), he of the tales of woe about his ex-wife, as well as a raging man-crush on Sheldon. Dave happily accepts her invitation for a home-cooked dinner, and as the slightly less awkward second date winds down to Amy's couch, Dave tries to get frisky by kissing her.

At that exact moment, Sheldon arrives at Amy's door rambling of earworms, hearts, and heartworms. ("The metaphorical kind, not the poodle-killing kind.") He tells her he loves her*, wants to be her boyfriend again, and plants the first of his sweep-her-off-her-feet kisses.

(*A big assist to Dave for the love match, or rematch. He's such a big fan of Sheldon's — and, it's clear, a pretty decent dude himself — that he can't help but cheer Shamy on, pushing Sheldon to "Kiss her, you brilliant fool!")

So, yeah. The studio audience cheered at the big reunion kiss, and I'm probably not the only home viewer who may (or may not) have been passing some eye water and wiping it away with a weakness tissue. And despite those spoilery promos, which will likely continue to tease moments from next week's next-level Shamy-ing, we might want to have a supply of weakness tissues on hand for that one, too.


  • On the occasion of this very special recoupling, the writers wisely chose to skip subplots for most of the rest of the gang. Raj and Howard do find out, through Facebook, that their band Footprints on the Moon has a fan. He's a guy named Trent, and after some online sleuthing, they discover Trent has some cool hobbies, so they plot to meet him at a local coffee shop. But when they witness Trent in the middle of the Pick — as Seinfeld fans will remember — followed by an investigation and ingestion of his nasal prize, they flee the scene.
  • For those collecting data about Sheldon's very specific schedule: His usual urination time is 7:10 a.m., which means that when he feels the urge to pee at 2:25 a.m., he knows something is amiss. "Here I am in the middle of the night, struggling to keep my mind sharp … and my pajamas dry."
  • Sheldon, after being cursed out by an employee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Do you sing along to the greatest hits of Elvis Presley with that mouth?"
  • Amy, describing Dave's fanboy reaction to finding out that Sheldon was her ex: "You gushed over my ex-boyfriend like he was Leonard Nimoy and you were my ex-boyfriend."
  • Sheldon records a series of videos for his future self in the event that he is driven cuckoo by the earworm: "Dear Crazy Future Sheldon, you were driven mad by an earworm. Your mind, once your most trusted asset, is now a sack of parrots and monkeys."
  • While discussing the earworm with Leonard and Penny, Sheldon mentions other scientists who dealt with emotional issues, like Tesla, who fell in love with a pigeon and was convinced the bird reciprocated his feelings. When Sheldon finally recognizes the song, he's relieved: "Oh, thank goodness! I'm not crazy," he says. "I don't have to take a pigeon as my bride."